'All Australians share aspirations for economic security and an even more prosperous future — a better place for our children and the generations beyond.
But it is not enough that we share this aspiration. We need to make choices today to build a strong and resilient economy and lay the foundation for future prosperity.'
The Australian Government has been doing some Widget Thinking.
Yesterday its Treasurer The Honourable Joe Hockey published its five yearly Intergenerational Report which assesses 'the long-term sustainability of current Government policies and how changes to Australia’s population size and age profile may impact [sic] economic growth, workforce and public finances over the following 40 years.'
It begins by defining its Widget:
'All Australians share aspirations for economic security and an even more prosperous future — a better place for our children and the generations beyond.'
A big Widget.
Welcome aboard, Australian citizens. This is Joe speaking. Me and my successors will be your Captain on our journey to Economic Security and An Even More Prosperous Future. Our flight time is 40 years and the estimated arrival time is 2055. There will be some turbulence from the left wing during take off and weather at our destination in 40 years is sunny with the occasional rainbow and unicorn.
The Widget is reinforced in the Report with a solid foundation for good decision making:
'The term Australian Government is used when referring to the Government and the decisions and activities made by the Government on behalf of the [legal entity] of the Commonwealth of Australia.' (Emphasis added.)
The Government is - defined by its DECISIONS and by its ACTIONS - on behalf of the Commonwealth of Australia. If the government does not decide and act - it does not exist. Put more practically, the electors vote it out.
An organisation isn't what it says it's going to do. An organisation is defined by its workers' DECISIONS and their ACTIONS. An organisation does not exist if it does not decide and act.
Organisations are abstract constructs that come to life in the decisions made by their decision makers.
This is why decision making is the DNA of an organisation and why it needs to be good.
'The projections in this report are very unlikely to unfold over the next 40 years exactly as outlined. Things will happen that are not anticipated in the report’s assumptions, and government policy will change. The projections are not intended to be a prediction of the future as it will actually be, rather they are designed to capture some of the fundamental trends that will influence economic and budgetary outcomes should policies remain similar to current settings. They help to inform us about where there are opportunities to be seized, and where there are challenges to be overcome.'
The Report recognises that a good decision is one that advances us towards where we want to be. A decision is made from what we know now. The world's response to our making it will reveal more information that tells us new things about the world and our Widget that we will incorporate in our next decision.
The Report is the Government taking Step 5 of the Five Steps to a Good Decision.
It invites the Australian people to be heard. It is the Government saying:
'Here is the information that we have about the state of our country and which we will use to make decisions that will affect you, your children and your grandchildren. Please let us know what you think because you have the most at stake and you might teach us something that we missed and which will make us change our decisions.'
The Report says 'Here we are. Here's where we want to be. Here's how we think we'll get there.' To which Australians can in turn decide 'Yay' or 'Boo' or 'Meh' or 'Vote Labor' or 'I'm emigrating.'
Or as The Honourable Joe Hockey told Parliament when releasing the Report :
'This is the conversation that the nation wants to have and we are ready for it.'